I won't be seeing the ludicrously and cumbersomely titled Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie. The critics give it mixed reviews but the fan press is crucifying it. Even if that wasn't happening, I would not be there.
One of my earliest favorite comic books was WORLD'S FINEST. Many of you will recall I did an entire blog detailing every issue, nearly all of which highlighted the friendship and teamwork of Batman and Superman. Among other things, that taught little me that people from very different backgrounds and methodologies could work together, laugh together, and be good friends in spite of their differences.
Then came the changes.
Watchmen is dark. Watchmen is brilliant. Dark Knight Returns is dark and many find it brilliant as well. And the Killing Joke. One of the reasons all of those stories worked is that they were unique looks at superheroes. If EVERY superhero story before them had been dark, then they wouldn't have stood out at all. And now nearly every superhero story IS dark so what stands out is the rare exception. Like I said, we live in a dark world, these days. We don't need a reflection of that. We need hope and that's something superheroes have almost always been good at! Until now.
Maybe the old stories were hokey. Maybe we're too "sophisticated" now as a people to handle them. But then who's teaching the lessons? Who's teaching our kids that hope and peace and friendship and kindness, life, and cooperation are worthy goals even if they don't see them every day in their own lives. What are we teaching them NOW with superheroes? Anger, violence, destruction, power trips, and relentless fucking DARKNESS!
On TV, DC gets it right with Supergirl and Flash but on that dark big screen, they've already mapped out a decade of upcoming films that will seemingly continue to deconstruct heroes. They don't get it. Any kid who grew up in the sixties could tell them. Comic book heroes are REAL in that they make a difference, even if its not always obvious. The world needs heroes now perhaps more than ever. Kids need heroes. Without them, there may be no hope for tomorrow.